The three-day Kalpathy Car Festival (‘rathotsavam') began at 10.30 a.m. on Monday with thousands of people joining in to tug the decorated temple cars through the ‘agraharams' (Brahmin villages).

The temple car carrying the deity of Viswanathaswamy Temple (Kundampalam) led the ‘rathotsavam' followed by the deities of the other three temples in Kalpathy.

Temple trustee Susheel Kumara Varma; Tantri Rajalina Kurukkal; Retna Sabhapathy, chief priest;. Shafi Parambil, MLA; joined the devotees to pull the rathams.

The Kalpathy Car Festival is one of the biggest festivals in India next only to the Puri Jagannath Swamy Temple car festival in Orissa. There are similar car festivals in Thiruvarur, Mayavaram and Avinashi in Tamil Nadu.

The Kalpathy carnatic music festival and car festival, held from November 8 to 16 every year, has gained much prominence attracting artistes from far and wide.

As part of the festival, a stall of The Hindu group of publications was inaugurated by District Collector K.V. Mohankumar. A four-page colour supplement brought out by The Hindu was released by Mr. Shafi Parambil.

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